CHELMSFORD - Nancy E. (DeRonde) Desjardins, age 79, a longtime resident of Chelmsford, passed away on Sunday, July 21, 2019 at Newton Wellesley Hospital. She was the beloved wife of the late Robert A. Desjardins, who died in 1995.
Born in Boston on June 8, 1940, she was a daughter of the late Ralph E. and Elizabeth T. (Holland) DeRonde.
Nancy was a resident of Chelmsford for over forty years. It was where she started a family with her husband, Robert, and raised two children, Bryan and Sandra, of whom she could not have been prouder. It was also where she became an involved citizen, a member of the Lazy Daisy Garden Club, and a friend to many.
Nancy was born to help others. After graduating from Watertown High School in 1958, Nancy entered Mount Auburn Nursing School in Cambridge and subsequently worked at local hospitals, where she honed the skills that would serve her well in a career that spanned forty years and touched the lives of countless people. She eventually settled at Mass General Hospital in Boston, where she spent the majority of her working years. “Nurse Nancy,” as she was affectionately known, was a renowned figure in the halls of MGH. She seemed to be familiar with nearly everyone who worked there, from doctors to clerical staff, and couldn’t make it ten yards down the hall without stopping to talk to someone. Those lucky enough to walk next to her felt as though they were accompanying a local celebrity on a leisurely stroll. Early on in her MGH career, she helped to set up the Ambulatory Screening Clinic, and then served as a float nurse before becoming an office nurse at Bulfinch Medical Group.
After retiring, she volunteered as a reading coach at a local elementary school and mentored several recently arrived immigrants eager to learn English. Always a fan of great art, she took it upon herself to learn about the life and legacy of James Whistler and served as a docent at his birthplace, the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell. She was also an avid supporter of the Girl Scouts of America, funding summer camp trips for several girls who had trouble paying. She also traveled extensively with several groups and spent many hours reading her beloved mystery novels and biographies and watching movies.
In her retirement she also enjoyed spending time with her four grandchildren, whom she adored. She looked forward to Charlie’s games and plays, Alice’s dance recitals, Skyla’s Girl Scout adventures and sports, and spending time with Ava coloring and sharing her love of beautiful jewelry.
Above all else, and in everything she did, Nancy enjoyed helping people and never sought recognition for her actions. Whether it was cleaning a patient’s ears, or simply offering a kind word to someone having a bad day, Nancy worked to be a positive force in the lives of everyone she met. As a mother, a wife, a friend, and a nurse, she gave of herself fully, and over seventy-nine adventure-filled years lived the richest of lives. Her wit, warmth, and candor will be sorely missed.
Nancy is survived by her daughter, Sandra Desjardins, and daughter-in-law, Jessie Desjardins, of Framingham; her son, Bryan Desjardins, and daughter-in-law, Kelly Desjardins, of Pepperell; and four grandchildren: Charlie, Alice, Skyla, and Ava. She is also survived by her sister, Susan Morrissey of Watertown, nieces; Elizabeth Campbell, Kathleen Forde, Judith Morrissey and Jeannine Sweeney, nephew, Joseph Morrissey, and several beloved cousins. She is also the aunt of the late Thomas Morrissey, Jr.
Visiting hours will be held on Friday from 4 pm to 8 pm at the Blake Chelmsford Funeral Home, 24 Worthen St., Chelmsford.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday at11 am at St. Mary Parish, 25 North Rd., Chelmsford. KINDLY MEET AT CHURCH.
Interment will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery, Chelmsford.
For those who desire, memorial donations may be made to the HHT Foundation, PO Box 329, Monkton, MD, 21111 or curehht.org.